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The Eurofighter Typhoon was designed as the world's most advanced swing-role combat aircraft. Established in 1994, the Eurofighter consortium brought together the brightest minds in European aerospace within the leading companies of each of the partner nations in order to create a world class weapon system. The concept has been conceived since the beginning as a multi-role/swing-role platform that would meet the exacting operational demands of the Air Forces of Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Later on the international consortium also made partnerships with the Austrian Air Force and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who bought the Eurofighter as their leading fighter aircraft.
One of the main partners of the project was the Italian Air Force who via Alenia Aeronautica initially ordered 121 examples of the multi-role fighter aircraft. Today the eurofighter is used in the Air Defence role by 4 ° Stormo at Grosseto and 36 ° Stormo at Gioia del Colle Airbases. They ensure 24h/365 days air cover in the Quick Reaction Alert role over the Italian territory. In 2011 Eurofighters were extensively used flying combat air patrol missions in support of NATO's Operation Unified Protector over Libya.
In September 2011 the Italian Air Force Eurofighter solo display came for the first time to the Netherlands Air Force Opendays at Leeuwarden Airbase. Demo Pilot Major Raffaele Beltrame, flies the Eurofighter Typhoon since 2004 and is test pilot with the 311 Gruppo Reparto Sperimentale Volo based at Pratica di Mare Airbase. On the way to the show we had the honor to perform a photoshoot of the Eurofighter high above the Wadden Islands. As can be seen from the photographs, the aircraft suites very well for aircraft interceptions, even for slow movers as the Skyvan photoship is. The pilot showed off the aircraft very nicely from all sides marking the graceful lines of the Jet. Still displayed on the aircraft is the number 173 who was applied for the Le Bourget Airshow earlier this year.
Hereby we would like to thank the organization of the Leeuwarden Opendays and all pilots and crew who made this exceptional photoshoot possible.

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